Thursday, November 09, 2006

This one's all about painting.

Sometimes I'm writing for you, but sometimes, like today, I just need to kick myself in the pants and tell myself off. So, pardon me, but here goes.

I know what I want to paint. I have an idea about how I want it to look. But it's like there's a glass wall between me and what I want to do. It seems easy to smash it, just throw a brick, but then you have all the broken pieces to pick up, and they're sharp! I guess we're all a little nervous about breaking glass.

My problem is I can make things look pretty much how I perceive them. I can paint tightly and realistically. I have been wanting to get away from that for a long time, but I hold myself back. There is a kind of abandon one must reach in order to just let it all come out. I'm reluctant to let go like that. Why is the image so precious?

Why not hold on to realism? Why not do what seems to naturally come to me? Because, especially in this instance, a sharply focused realistic image doesn't say what I want to say. I want to say something about the freedom and joy of being a child in the summertime. I want to show movement and delight. And not in a saccharine way.

So here's today's work. First I started another watercolor. I intended to work wet on wet, let the colors bleed and let the forms dissolve into one another. I started off pretty well, but a little timid (a little?!!) with the color saturation.

Then lunchtime came around, and so did DH. He wanted to go scout new vehicles, and because I'm the intended recipient, it wouldn't do for me to say, "Lovely, dear. You go do that and I'll stay here and paint." So I went along. We spent an hour looking at mommy mobiles, and then I came home. I went back to the painting, and was feeling a little impatient, and once again I gravitated back to the tighter image.

Now I'm not saying I didn't achieve anything today. Nor am I saying that today's work isn't salvageable. I'm just irritated with myself. I guess that irritation can be productive if I channel it properly. Working it out in watercolor and pushing myself with a quick and relatively inexpensive medium is better than wasting a lot of time and expensive materials using oils. Also, maybe when I go to do this in oils, I will feel relieved of a heavy weight and will let my arm go. Did I mention water color is HARD?


sandra said...

Painting, drawing, scatching ... it was always hard for me! You know, I used to cry in primary school how awful those (obligatory) classes were to me!

Beth said...

I just want to say that, since I'm not in your head and can't see what you want to do, that they have all looked wonderful to me. I love the children. They look free and joyful. In every painting.
Anyway, the pictures on my blog were of my shop.
Keep up the hard work.

del said...

Watercolor LOOKS hard. But you do a great job.

vtwopoint5 said...

Ah yes, walls. For me, irritation at myself is a great motivator to get through my walls. I don't think I've ever regretted knocking one down, no matter how painful the process was.

I hadn't thought about how hard watercolor must be before reading your post. It gave me a new perspective.

Anonymous said...

I've only done realism in my actual paintings- I experimented some in that September project, but for the most part, I've only painted the actual image. I can relate to that need to get it exactly right. I remember one still life I was working on in class and my professor said, "I have no doubt you can get in there and paint every single line in the edge of that dish- but I want you to try to suggest it, to give me the sense of it." Yeah, I still haven't gotten to finishing that one yet.

I really think you're getting to what you wanted with that piece! I felt that sense of lightness and freedom, of playing under the sprinkler as a child in the earlier picture with the lighter colors. Interruptions when you're in the groove are so frustrating... and catastrophic sometimes! I think you're really getting there, though.